This I Believe

Keith - Staten Island, New York
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I Believe In Educating Those Who Seem Incapable Of Being Educated.

Twenty-Four years ago, my sister Victoria Fairlie was born. My sister was born prematurely, resulting in a mental handicap. Victoria was not able to leave the hospital due to medical complications for the next three months. Due to Victoria’s birth complications Victoria’s size was so small that she was able to fit in the palm of my father’s hands.

Victoria had lived with her parents for the beginning of her life. Victoria and myself share the same father but different a different mother. Due to a custody dispute, Victoria went to live with both my mother and father. When I was born, Victoria had already been living with my parents for a number of years. During the time that Victoria had lived with her parents, she had not been properly educated. When she came to live with my parents, she was not able to do anything without assistance. Victoria possessed habits of the mentally handicapped often portrayed in movies. Both of my parents felt that Victoria needed proper education.

When Victoria was old enough she attended I.S. 7, a local Middle school until her age would not allow her attend any longer. Victoria did the normal Monday through Friday school week as well as a Saturday morning program. The program she attended on Saturdays helped her function in society ,teaching her the necessary skills needed to live an everyday life such as how to fold laundry, cook meals, and on occasion drivers education. Victoria is now classified as a High-Functioning mentally handicapped Human being, a complete turnaround from what she was once classified as while living with her mother.

Today, Victoria participates annually in the Special Olympics of Greater New York. The games are held at Monsignor Farrell High School, my alma-matter, and I have helped organize the game there for the past four years. Victoria wins every single event that she participates in. On average, Victoria wins about 4 gold medals at Special Olympic outing. With Victoria as my inspiration, I went on to start the first and largest high school Special Olympic volunteer group in the tri-state area.

Looking back at the past twenty-so years of Victoria’s life, none of the educational progressions would have taken place if it wasn’t for the other people in this world who feel the same way that I do; People who think that it is 100% worth educating those who seem incapable of being educated. For if there weren’t people that feel that everyone should have an education, the mentally handicapped would not be able to function as some do today.